Summer is a magical time to visit Brooklyn. Spend the day at the beach and the evenings taking in a baseball game. Or watch one of the many fireworks displays around the city this summer. From fairs to festivals, there are numerous summer celebrations in Brooklyn.
If you don't want to stick to a formal plan, you can simply take a self-guided walking tour around the borough. Don't forget to check out the street art in Bushwick or stroll down the cobblestone-lined streets of Brooklyn Heights. If you prefer a guided walking tour, check out some of these offbeat Brooklyn walking tours.
From a ride on a historic wooden roller coaster to dining on artisanal cuisine at outdoor food festivals, there is much to do this summer in Brooklyn. Here are 10 fun and fantastic summertime things to do in Brooklyn.
Soak in the Sun at Brooklyn's Beaches
You don't have to hop on a plane to an exotic island to enjoy a day at the beach. Brooklyn is home to many beaches. You can spend an afternoon at Brighton Beach, and dine on traditional Russian food at Tatiana's on the boardwalk. Or if you'd like a quieter beach, head to Brooklyn's Manhattan Beach.
However, no visit to Brooklyn would be complete without a day at Coney Island. Walk along the iconic boardwalk, dine on Nathan's hot dogs, take a ride on the Cyclone--the classic wooden roller coaster, cool off watching the fish at the New York Aquarium, or soak in the rays in the sand. Stick around and watch a seaside baseball game at MCU Park or the weekly fireworks display. This summer, Coney Island is also home to a new amphitheater. Enjoy seaside concert all summer long at this noted Brooklyn beach.
Feast at a Food Festival
Don't stress over making reservations on Open Table for one of the many must-visit Brooklyn restaurants, instead, sample various cuisines at these weekly Brooklyn Food Festivals.
On weekends, the Smorgasburg sets up shop in Brooklyn. The Smorgasburg is a weekly food festival chuck full of Brooklyn's finest foods. From artisanal ice cream to savory cuisine, this is not to be missed. On Saturdays, visit the Smorgasburg at East River State Park. On Sundays, the Smorgasburg is housed in Breeze Hill in Prospect Park.
If you want some of the tastiest Latin American cuisines in Brooklyn, spend a day in Red Hook. The Red Hook Vendors have been serving Brooklynites since 1974. Located at Red Hook Recreation Fields at 160 Bay Street, the vendors are open from 10 am until sundown on weekends.
Hit the Water
Brooklyn's shorelines are awe-inspiring. With views of lower Manhattan or the Atlantic ocean, there are many scenic waterside spots in Brooklyn. However, don't limit yourself to taking selfies by the waterfront, and enjoy a day at sea in Brooklyn. From an educational tour on a Classic Harbor Line Tour to renting kayaks at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
If you want to head to the seas to catch a fish, Sheepshead Bay is home to many fishing boats. Hop aboard one and spend the evening cooking your fresh catch. If you don't want to go on the water, but would like a waterside meal, check out these waterfront restaurants in Brooklyn.
Take a Dip in a Pool
For those who aren't into the seas, you can spend a summer day pool hopping around the borough. Brooklyn is home to many public pools, but there are a couple that stand out. The Pop-up Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park is ideal if you have little ones in tow. The pool is 30 by 50 feet in size and maxes out at an easy 3.5 feet deep, which is perfect if you have new swimmers with you. The pool is open from June 29 to Labor Day weekend and is free to the public. Open from 10 am to 6 pm for a 45-minute session.
If you're looking for a hipster pool, you should pay for a day or evening swim at the McCarren Pool at the McCarren Hotel and Pool in Williamsburg. You can purchase passes beforehand or at the door. They also offer a party package, if you're planning on bringing friends. Or if you don't want to shell out the cash, you can go to the public pool in Williamsburg. Either way, you get to cool off in the water and enjoy a day at the pool.
Fireworks are an integral part of summer culture. From the historic annual 4th of July Fireworks celebration, which folks crowd along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and other spots along the waterfront to watch to the weekly firework display after a Brooklyn Cyclones' game, there are many ways you can watch fireworks in Brooklyn. Or just head to Luna Park every Friday night in the summer for a fireworks show at 9:30 pm.
If you're in town on Friday, June 17th, following the NY Philharmonic concert at Prospect Park, there will be a fireworks display.
Catch a Ball Game
From a post-game fireworks display to free giveaways, there are many amenities at MCU Park. However, the biggest draw is watching the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league baseball team, score a home run. There is a lot of home pride at these games and locals get quite emotional as they cheer on the team.
Another draw is the fairly economical ticket price. Don't worry about where you sit. Every seat at the seaside stadium has a good view, but night games can't be beat. With the illuminated famous landmarked Parachute Jump, an evening breeze coming off of the ocean, you'll definitely enjoy your summer Brooklyn night. Opening day is June 17th and the season ends in September. Families should note, you get to run the bases after many games, and you should check the schedule for those dates.
Head to a Music Festival
From a hip-hop festival to a weekly concert series in Prospect Park, you can certainly get your fill of music this summer. Enjoy the eclectic list of headliners at Celebrate Brooklyn, a summer-long concert series in Prospect Park. Or spend a weekend in July immersed in Brooklyn's historic hip-hop music scene at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Music fans will also enjoy the Summerstage concert series at Coffey Park in Red Hook, which music from Blonde Redhead and other great acts.
This summer, Afropunk Brooklyn returns to Commodore Barry Park August 27th & 28th for a weekend of music and fun. If you're more of a jazz or a folk music fan, check out our list of other Brooklyn music festivals.
If you only go to movies to listen to the soundtrack, you might want to watch a flick at one of these outdoor movie series, many of which are free of charge.
Take in Some Nature
Skip the trip to the country, we have a lot of nature in Brooklyn. Yes, you can spend the day at the incredible and verdant Brooklyn Botanic Garden, smelling the fragrant roses, but did you know you could also camp in Brooklyn?
Spend the night camping at Floyd Bennett Field, a former historic airport where Howard Hughes and many other pilots flew notable fights. Now you can check out the nature of this incredible marshland, and pitch a tent at one of the 32 tents and nine RV parking spots at this Brooklyn park. To reserve a night here, click here. If you don't want to spend the night, this is still a worthwhile destination for Brooklyn nature.
For serious nature lovers, here's a list of fun spots to see nature in the city.
Yes, you can get a ton of exercise walking around this vibrant city, but it's also fun to engage in sports and other activities. Brooklyn is home to two seasonal outdoor roller rinks, in Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Brooklyn is also home to many fantastic running paths. Pack your running shoes and jog the loop in Prospect Park or run along the waterfront at the various greenways in Brooklyn. Just make room for bikers. Cyclists have tons of bike rental options these days, including a day pass at CitiBike.
If you want to engage in a team sport, check out the open court schedule at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Volleyball court. Or if you want to unwind, you can take a yoga class at the many yoga studios in Brooklyn. If you'd like a truly unique yoga experience, take a rooftop yoga class at a rooftop vineyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Cool Down with a Frozen Drink
Summer is the perfect time to sip a cool drink and enjoy the sunset. There are many rooftop bars, seasonal bars, and outdoor venues in Brooklyn, and luckily many happen to serve tasty frozen drinks. Head to Crown Heights for a frozen Dark n Stormy at Glady's beloved popular Caribbean restaurant. Or cool down with frozen drinks at Chilo's in Bed Stuy, the casual Mexican restaurant serves an assortment of frozen drinks and cuisine served from a taco truck. Another option is drinking Pink Baby's at Baby's All Right in Williamsburg, the frozen grapefruit and vodka drink is a hit with the locals.
Although they don't serve frozen drinks, for a perfect summer evening, head to Rooftop Reds, a rooftop vineyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard for wine tastings on Wednesdays through Sundays.